Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday-Independence Days Post

1. Plant something.

Nope...didn't get any of this done...soon it will be time but not yet. I am browsing seed catalogs though, and getting ready to plan.

I am going to start making some toilet paper roll seed starters and some newspaper seed starters. Instructions for TP roll starters can be found here: Seed Starters

2. Harvest something.

Too cold and snowy/rainy...nothing to harvest. : (

3. Preserve something.

Well....I bagged up lavender that I'd dried earlier. Again, the end of winter problem.

4. Prep something.

*sigh* I just found out last week that we have bed bugs. Our building has had them for some time, it was only a matter of time. So, the prepping I've done this week has been laundry, moving furniture, vacuuming every night, steam cleaning the carpets every night, etc. Not fun, and my whole place is in absolute shambles and I can get my mind wrapped around anything more than this. : (

5. Cook something.

I've done a fair bit of cooking. Sunday I made batches and batches of seitan. I love seitan, and we eat TONS of it. Here's the recipe I use, it's from this link: Vegetarian Resource Group

Quick Homemade Gluten
(Makes 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds or 2 to 2-1/2 cups)

This is the basic recipe for gluten.

2 cups gluten flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons lite tamari, Braggs liquid amino acids, or soy sauce
1-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)

Add garlic powder and ginger to flour and stir. Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times.

Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.

Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to 60 minutes.

4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-4 slices ginger (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is covered. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.

Seitan is about $5 for 8 ounces in stores, and this recipe makes tons. A bag of vital wheat gluten flour is about $4 and make many, many batches.

6. Manage your reserves.

I need to get on this. My pantry is a disaster. So is everything else, so.....

7. Work on local food systems.

I got my forms for my CSA. I get my veggies from Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA. The shares are enormous!!! I end up sharing them with others. I get the full season share, June through early December. It works out to about $25 a week. I've been using them for 3 years and LOVE them so much. Each share is almost 10 pounds of stuff!! And the pick-ups aren't far from our house. Very nice, and I am very excited.

I'm also considering finding a local buying club, but right now have spent so much on the bug war my funds are kind of beyond depleted. : (

Well...that's my Independence Days for this week. More next Friday.

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